I spend a lot of time traveling for business. After being a full-time Colorado resident for nearly five years, that status is more part time than anything these days.
From enduring the coldest winter Chicago’s had in over 30 years to the Dominican Republic in November and Washington, DC for some miscellaneous airline miles to snag a status upgrade for the coming year — I can tell you one thing: there are a few things about Boulder that tug at my heartstrings when I’m not nestled into it.
The Flatirons: I remember the first time I saw the Flatirons. It was in the springtime of 2009, right after I’d moved to Colorado. Since that moment (I’m pretty sure I gasped), I’ve loved every iteration of these flat-faced beauties. From those rare mornings where the fog rolls in and we get to watch them unveil to the snow-capped days that remind us that there’s “calling in ski” to the office to be done. They’re lovely. They’re Boulder. And thankfully, I can head up and get my dose of them up close on foot when I’m in the mood for some hiking around.
Mt. Sanitas: The first time my friend Eric took me up Sanitas, my calves didn’t ever want to see him (or Sanitas) again. But I came back. I fell in love with the way the sun rises over the ridge and you can see the entire Boulder Valley come into view. No matter where I am in the world, there’s nothing that really compares to an early morning hike with friends where you catch both the sunrise and a couple of deer wandering around. There’s something about standing at the top — maybe even with my Small Dog and Big Dog in tow — and taking in that view.
Chez Thuy: I could throw out the name of any restaurant in any city and there will be backlash. Have at it. But when I’m away, I miss a giant bowl of the Vietnamese cole slaw with tofu. The service is atrocious but the food makes me happy. I also love how, every time I’ve ever been at this restaurant, I always run into someone I know. It’s a gathering place with lots of cabbage — and that suits me fine (especially when I can have bottomless cups of hot green tea on cold winter days).
The Whole Foods Parking Lot: Fine. You can label me insane, but there’s a little something I miss about the undeniable idiocy of the Whole Foods Parking lot. It’s a bit of a rush, a bit seek-and-destroy, and I always feel like they should offer punch cards to everyone where you get credit for every parking attempt where you don’t run someone ina North Face fleece vest over. Maybe it’s my agro side. Maybe I just wanted to get to my damned breakfast taco. Wait — I miss the breakfast tacos when I’m not home, too.
People Watching on Pearl: There is no airport that can compare to the people watching on Pearl Street. Anywhere. Ever. At any time.
So — when you go away, what do you miss? There’s still nothing quite like coming over the hill on 36 and seeing the city unfold across my windshield. It’s always damn good to be home.